Former barrack and camp chief in the camp of French prisoners in Hohenfels (AK 2432, then stalag 383) depending from stalag VII A in Meesburg (Bavière), I was assigned among the prisoners to the functions of barrack chief in April 1941, and to camp chief in September 1942, till the end of captivity in April 1945.
The Hohenfels camp composed by disciplinary commandos, counted about : 1000 to 1200 prisoners of different nationalities: French, Spaniards, Portuguese, Swiss, Luxemburg, Belgians, Hungarians, Greeks, Poles, Yugoslavs, Bulgarians, Rumanians, Turkish, Russians, Germans, etc… There was also 500 Jews who arrived during the 1940/41 winter
Despite the protests of the French prisoners authorities in the camp, among which I was, the German authorities separated the Jewish prisoners who were confined to 3 separate barracks (Judenbaraken) with the numbers 15 – 17 – 21, and with discriminatory conditions.
The German authorities reserved the most difficult … (unreadable)…commandos with difficult march in the snow or under the sun. Assigning them to hard duties in private workshops, and prohibiting them from any contact with German civilians. They also often happened to make them work on holidays and Sundays. Despite strong protests from the prisoners’ authorities, the guards did not hesitate to insult very rudely the Jewish POWs just because of their origin; we also frequently had to intervene toward the “Kommandantur” to protest against different ill-usages or cruelties: blows, cuffs, rifle butt-ends beatings… for the most futile reasons. We also were informed that the sentinels were commanded to beat the Jewish POWs. Some German soldiers did not restrain themselves.
The Jewish POWs in this camp also lacked warm clothes in winter when the temperature reached 20°C or 25°C under zero. The heating in the “Judenbaraken” was way insufficient.
Also to be mentioned is the fact that from the time of their very separation from the non-Jewish prisoners, the German camp authority tried to impose to the Jews to wear a distinctive sign, either a large “J” or a yellow line on their clothes. Many subterfuges were used to avoid the generalization of this measure, which obligation lasted for quite a long period.
The discrimination also applied to the choice of the translators; the authorities avoided as far as possible to using Jews for these missions, which they were able to accomplish perfectly though.
- Bulletin n°20
- 2015 november friday 13
- Human memory DMPA
- Immigration Museum in Paris
- Today leaders
- R.M.V.E. (I R F V)
- The association
- Historical leaders
- Major characters
- Activities & Culture
- to other sites
- BULLETIN "Notre Volonté"
- The play : "The Left ones" 2014